Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
11 months ago

Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will

Updated 10/9/2013 at 8:00 a.m.

Washington (CNN) – There appeared to be enough votes in the House on Wednesday to approve legislation to reopen the federal government, according to an ongoing CNN survey of House members.

CNN's vote count

All 200 Democrats and 19 Republicans support passing a continuing resolution with no additional legislative strings attached that would reopen the federal government, which has been partially closed for a week over a bitter policy dispute between Republicans and Democrats on health care. With three vacancies in 435 member House, 217 votes are currently the minimum needed for the measure to win approval in the House.

CNN's vote count appears to bear out what President Barack Obama said on Monday.

"The truth of the matter is, there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House of Representatives right now to end this shutdown immediately with no partisan strings attached," Obama said.

But this does not mean a vote will happen any time soon, given that these Republicans have not indicated a willingness to try to force Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to bring a continuing resolution with no strings attached to the floor for a vote. After a meeting with Republicans on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma told CNN that the speaker told members there would not be a House vote on a "clean" government funding bill.

The clean CR is at the center of the dispute between Obama and Republicans, the latter trying to use the government shutdown as a legislative avenue to help defund the president's health care law. Many House Republicans are demanding that passage of a continuing resolution is contingent on the health care law being delayed – the first step in an effort they hope to use to dismantle it. The president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have said that the GOP's efforts are a non-starter.

As is the case with all vote counts, the numbers continually evolve and change by the hour and day.

Still, Boehner has maintained that there are not enough votes in the House to pass a "clean" CR.

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," the speaker said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. I told my members the other day, there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it."

Republican Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania disagreed with the speaker's assessment. He told CNN on Monday that if the vote were to come to the floor, he believes it would pass.

"I believe a clean CR would pass comfortably," said Dent. "I'm not here to predict the number, I think it would clear the 217 vote barrier."

In response, Obama dared Boehner on Monday to prove that he doesn't have the votes for a clean continuing resolution.

"If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes then they should prove it," Obama said. "Let the bill go to the floor, and let's see what happens. Just vote."

On Monday, as Democrats trumpeted other vote counts that appeared to show there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean government funding bill, a number of lawmakers began to walk back previous statements.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California was one of those lawmakers. After telling Huffington Post and others that he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached, his spokesman said Monday that "that was never the case."

"He does not support a clean CR, does not support it, does not advocate it," said Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes.

Republicans Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Randy Forbes of Virginia, who other news outlets report have supported a clean government funding bill, told CNN on Monday that they did not back the measure.

"Reports that Randy Forbes supports a 'clean' CR are not true," a Forbes said. "This was misrepresented in a story by the Virginian Pilot (newspaper), which subsequently was picked up by HuffPo and other national outlets – none of which bothered to contact our office to verify."

Instead, Forbes has introduced legislation that would fund all of the government except Obamcare, the aide said.

Not all Republicans moved away from voting for a government funding bill with no strings attached.

Late on Monday, Republican Rep. David Reichert of Washington said he would "continue to vote for any legislation that keeps the federal government open."

Likewise on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado announced he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached in a Denver Post opinion-editorial and Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina said he wished the House "would pass a clean CR" during an interview with MSNBC.

Other Republican members, like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, would not confirm a report from the Miami Herald that said the lawmaker would support a clean resolution.

"The president needs to sit down and negotiate with the speaker," Cesar Gonzalez, a spokesman for Diaz-Balart, said. "In the meantime, the congressman does not think it is wise to negotiate through the press."

The 19 Republicans who support a government funding bill with no strings attached are:

Walter B. Jones, R-North Carolina: Said during an interview with MSNBC that he wished the House "would pass a clean CR."

Mike Coffman, R-Colorado: Announced he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached in a Denver Post opinion-editorial.

Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas: "Tweeted the he would support a clean government funding bill."

Bill Young, R-Florida: A spokesman tells CNN that Young would support a clean government funding bill.

Dennis Ross, R-Florida: A spokeswoman told CNN Ross would support a one-year government funding bill at sequestration levels with no strings attached.

Mike Simpson, R-Idaho: Statement: "Similar to Sen. Rand Paul, I could support a very short-term clean CR, perhaps one or two weeks, while we continue to negotiate on a longer-term bill."

Frank LoBiondo, R-New Jersey: LoBiondo penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Jon Runyan, R- New Jersey: Runyan penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Pete King, R-New York: Told CNN he supports passing a clean government funding bill.

Michael Grimm, R-New York: Grimm told CNN he would support a clean government funding bill.

Jim Gerlach, R-Penn.: A spokesman told CNN that Gerlach would support a clean government funding bill if it came to the floor.

Pat Meehan, R-Penn.: Statement on October 1: "I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill."

Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.: Fitzpatrick penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Lou Barletta, R-Penn.: A spokesman told CNN that Barletta would vote yes if a clean government funding bill came to the floor. On Tuesday morning, the spokesman said while Barletta is now focused on passing a compromise that includes repealing of the medical device tax, it is fair to include him as a yes vote for a funding bill with no strings attached.

Charles Dent, R-Penn.: Told CNN he supports a clean government funding bill. "I think now it's imperative that we just fund the government," he said.

Robert Wittman, R-Virgina: A spokeswoman tell CNN Wittman would vote yes on a clean government funding bill.

Scott Rigell, R-Virginia: Told CNN on October 1 that he supported passing a clean government funding bill.

Frank Wolf, R-Virginia: A spokesman tells CNN that Wolf will support a clean government funding bill.

David Reichert, R-Washington: October 7 statement: "I will continue to vote for any legislation that keeps the federal government open."

– CNN's Laura Koran and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (981 Responses)
  1. joedog

    435 members. 217 voting yes means that there would be 218 nays. Do the math.

    October 8, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. kylefromohio

    Boeher the uncontested Congressman from Ohio, somebody please run agaist this guy from the left , right or center somebody. No one should be uncontested even if you are going to lose at least give people options for representation in a district. God bless American

    October 8, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. L.Sanfod

    The GOP/TEA is telling the American people to go to hell.. and we pay these idiots to do so!

    October 8, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. bob

    Mr Speaker, Let me representative vote!!! Once the vote is over we will see who is a patriot and who is treasonous. Enough said.

    October 8, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Unbelievable

    This is unbelievable. I agree the ACA should not be funded (has anyone went on there to see what the cost is for someone to be on "affordable" health care – can you pay $700 a month and a 7000 deductible?) It is not affordabble – but is punishable. Not fair to the people. I dont need it and wont be on it... but it is not fair to those who do.
    All the issues should be dealt with individually instead of bundeling them so some get their pork passed at the hostage of other bills. Grow up – both parties. They are all wrong. I hate politics.

    October 8, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. Sniffit

    How to Secede by Bringing Financial Ruin to the Federal Gov't (for Dummies)

    October 8, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. RuthDenver

    I'd like to see CNN start doing some stories on people that are frantically signing up for the Affordable Healthcare Act, especially how many identify as Republican.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. truehoosier62

    Longfisch,

    Amen brother, amen!

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Ace

    More Republican obstruction.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Gabbo

    Obama owns this shutdown – all of it. CNN loves to lick his boots, though.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Zach

    Why doesn't he call the vote to shut the President up? Is there a consequence if it doesn't pass? Or would they be right where they are right now? It seems like he is stalling because he hasn't gotten the negotiations that he wanted, not because of the votes...

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. TL

    Just open the govt.. our govt.. then continue to fuss and fight. There is no excuse for this... we pay taxes and Congress holds the American people hostage... so sick of it.. Rep. or democrats its just plain stupid.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. kris

    lots of you, don't understand what a government takeover can mean a long-term. go to third world country,many of them have free healthcare by the govt. but most cases people take that to die.

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Data Driven

    @Mike,

    "There is NOT enough votes"

    How do you know? You a Hill staffer? Let Boehner put the vote to the floor and we'll all find out.

    Or are you chicken?

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Nicky

    This is not a damn game.

    - John Boehner

    October 8, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Patrick

    Boehner is blocking it, plain and simple! He is basically bowing down to those Tea Party morons. Shameless .. this will effect the GOP in 16!

    October 8, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. noehner

    Time for a vote of "No Confidence" for the Speaker of the House

    October 8, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. teaparty days are numbered

    some republicans are not going to say out in the open they will vote to open the government but will vote for it on the floor, because even some republicans know its the right thing to do.

    October 8, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. CJ

    Boehner knows that if it passes there goes his job! What a JERK.

    October 8, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. Tim Klaiber

    Why can't you just report news! Be the solution, not the problem!

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. xx4zu1

    The republicans are having their tantrum while they can. They know after the next election they will be sent to the corner and have no voice at all in congress. It's sad because we need a balance between the two parties but extremism rules instead of compromise and it will be the death of them.

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. Logan

    I want equally in the policies set by the government. If it's considered right for the people, it should be right for those in elected seats as well. If these programs are so good, why aren't they living under them?

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. T3

    Those who complain about polls by CNN, NBC, etc., are left-biased should pay attention to their buddies at Faux News, who announced early this morning that in their poll 70% believe that this mess is the Republicans' fault. Boehner should stop his self-serving delaying actions and put this country back in business.

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. cookie

    I think in the next election they should vote all of them out and elect a person that does not belong to any party and really cares about this country and his people. This country needs to wake up and see that this president and his followers are bringing this country to socialism. It is bad when country relies on the government for everything. The people are the one that t need to stand for what is right and bring this country to what it used to be before is to late.

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Malory Archer

    Mike

    This story is a complete lie. There is NOT enough votes to end the stupid "Obama will not negotiate" and hates america pact. Another ploy by CNN to blame the GOP for a President who WILL NOT NEGOTIATE.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    He's ALREADY negotiated away EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE! In fact, crybaby crowed about how he got "98%" of what he wanted. Considering Dems gained seats in the House in 2012 at the same time we, the people reelected President Obama, it's well past time for crybaby to GIVE 2%.

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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